Ugly fruit charms, but ignorance harms - The Packer

Ugly fruit charms, but ignorance harms

01/10/2014 09:54:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

In an age where farmers markets are often lauded as the best source for produce, bulbous tomatoes and dirt-dusted potatoes are seen as charming and desirable.

Why doesn’t it work the same way for fruits and vegetables sold at retail (minus the dirt, of course)?

I’ll admit that I’ve done my fair share of picking over product to avoid fruit with scabs, nicks, soft spots or awkward shapes.

Maybe one of my New Year’s resolutions should be “buy more ugly produce.”

Just the facts, ma’am

I’ve written before about widespread misinformation regarding genetically modified crops and organic produce. While Facebook-spread hysteria over GMOs or the “Dirty Dozen” can be annoying, I realize that a lot of consumers don’t know where to turn for accurate information on those topics.

Maybe it was wishful thinking to assume members of the consumer press would.

The first Sprouts Farmers Market in the Kansas City area opened recently in suburban Overland Park, Kan.

A local NBC TV station sent a reporter out to get the inside scoop on the store and find out whether buying organic food was worth the extra expense (the Phoenix-based retailer specializes in organic and local products).

NBC reporter Sarah Hollenbeck interviewed Suzanne Friesen, a registered dietitian, on the topic.

“Organic basically means the meat, dairy or produce is raise without pesticides, antibiotics or herbicides,” Hollenbeck’s story reads.

Oh really?

“Some foods will have a label showing they are ‘certified organic,’ but Friesen says that really doesn’t matter,” the story continues.

“What you want to look for is local food grown without antibiotics or hormones. ‘You can buy foods that are not certified organic that are just as good,’ (Friesen) said. ‘That organic label is costly for farmers, so maybe you buy locally raised meat that is not certified organic but is raised without pesticides and antibiotics.’”

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